Why Are Foot Corns so Painful?

Foot corns are painful, for those of you who do have them I can understand where your plight is coming from.

When you show someone or state that a corn is causing the problem, they just balk at the thought “that, little bit of hard skin…ha!”

Unfortunately the information that runs around on the Internet and the treatment processes for corns is very wrong, and in some cases dangerous.

When you talk about anything medical, it is nigh on impossible to give 100% diagnosis, for the following reasons:

1- you are expecting someone who reads the article you have created to know that they have actually that problem. So for instance, someone who goes online and looks up foot corns, you would imply that they have a foot corn.

2- most people who self diagnose actually do not have the problem that they think that they have. This is horrendously problematic. Because now the patient is treating a corn, as directed online, to something that is really not a corn in the first place. So now the “corn” becomes even more painful.

3- medical conditions usually have a couple of “differentials” that go with them. Differential diagnosis means that it could be something else. Corns have many differentials, and if you are going off what a patient has said then usually you won’t get the diagnosis correct. Only by looking, or directing the patient can you truly gauge what the problem is.

So now you can not really blanket a condition without seriously considering the alternatives, if the patient has got it right to start with and also your personal idea of what the problem could be.

My own footcare site (link below and direct corn link here: Foot Corns 101 shameless promotion I know) recognizes this predicament and also tries to retrain patients into identifying their problem a little bit more.

So for corns…you just do not get a corn. Foot corns as the name implies are on the foot. But also they are inbetween toes, on the bottom of the foot, on the top of toes and even over joints.

There are some “corns” that will not heal even if treated because they have been treated with a whole manner of specialized chemicals, digging etc. So now they have become fibrosed/ scarred and there is no treatment that can get rid of that…so you are stuck with it.

So when people first enter my “corn page” they are introduced to what a corn is. Which is basically a hard pyramid of hard skin turned upside down, where the point of the roof of the pyramid is pointing into your foot. So scraping off the hard skin takes the base of the pyramid away but leaves the point intact.

Then I try to figure out where on your foot the corn is. Different sites require different treatment methods. So for instance if you ever use a corn plaster, which you shouldn’t, inbetween your toes then it will cause a bigger problem because there is little “meat” to slow the acid down.

And that is a point. All these home remedies and over the counter remedies usually get promoted by affiliate sites with little medical knowledge. You see, a medicated corn plaster is not really medicated. It contains a mild acid which goes straight down. Problem is, as we have seen, the corn is a pyramid not anything that has straight vertical edges so the acid blasts away at the healthy tissue as well as hard skin.

So now you can have a problem if your patient has a reduced circulation or even reduced nerve supply to the foot. Ulcerations are very common.

Unfortunately for most people who have a corn a Podiatrist/ Chiropodist is the only way. Sure it does cost money to see them, if you haven’t got a free state medical system, but the long term complications should be a primary reason for you to see them.

All they will do is to remove the corn (no pain) and then to figure out why it was caused.

You see, corns are there for a reason, they are created by pressure and by gentle side to side movement. So any good clinician should not want you to come back in reality. They should want to “cure” or even slow down corn regeneration because at the end of the day a corn will come back if the cause is not found.

In one example a patient had a corn on her bunion. She had been everywhere to have it treated and no-one figured out why…they never tried. They got money every time she came to see them, why should they find a cause! So we removed the corn and found a pin head sticking out from a previous bunion surgery. She had to go back to hospital to have the pin repositioned.

Bit icky I know. But it is another reason to find the cause and not to treat the symptoms.

As a quick ending side note. Most of the corns that are on the side of the foot, or on the tops of toes are there because of poorly fitting shoewear. A teacher of mine threw away a patients shoes because they were causing her corns which in turn were ulcerating on a regular basis. Sounds harsh, but in reality it was a good call. Would she have left them off, or would she have worn those, as she put it, “comfy shoes”?

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